Illegal alien charged with murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terryby Hugh Holub on May. 07, 2011, under atf, politics, project gunrunner
Press Release from US Attorney’s Office – Arizona May 6, 2011:
Manuel Osorio-Arellanes Charged for the Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
May 6, 2011
TUCSON – A federal district judge today unsealed a 14-count indictment that includes charges against Manuel Osorio-Arellanes of El Fuerte, Mexico, for the December 14, 2010, murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Osorio-Arellanes, and his co-defendants, who are fugitives and whose identities remain under seal, also face weapons and conspiracy charges in addition to charges for Second Degree Murder.
The indictment was unsealed at Osorio-Arellanes’ arraignment today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Jacqueline Marshall in Tucson. The defendant faces trial on June 17, 2011 before U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury in Tucson.
“Today’s indictment is an important step in this case, but it is only a first step to serving justice on behalf of Agent Brian Terry, his family, and the other agents who were with Terry and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “This is an active ongoing investigation that is making more and more progress every day.”
Burke added, “Agent Terry – who served his country honorably as both a Marine and a member of the Border Patrol — made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of the United States. His family deserves to see justice served, and everybody involved in this investigation is deeply committed to making that happen.”
Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert C. Rudge Jr., Phoenix Division, said, “The arraignment of Manuel Osorio-Arellanes is the culmination of efforts by the FBI, our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office. As we move forward, we are mindful of the Terry family and his colleagues at the U.S. Border Patrol. The FBI and United State Attorney’s Office will utilize all necessary resources in an effort to ensure that those responsible for the murder of Agent Terry are brought to justice.”
“The Border Patrol is pleased that significant progress is ongoing in this case. We will continue to do everything possible to support the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office in their efforts to bring justice to all parties responsible for the murder of Agent Terry,” said Randy Hill, Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent of Tucson Sector.
The indictment alleges that Osorio-Arellanes was part of an armed group of illegal aliens that got into a firefight with Agent Terry and other Border Patrol agents whom they encountered in a remote area known as Mesquite Seep near Rio Rico, Ariz. One of the group shot Agent Terry who died from his wound. Osorio-Arellanes, who was wounded, was apprehended, treated for his injuries, and has been in federal custody since on felony immigration charges. His co-conspirators, including the gunman suspected of firing the fatal shot, fled and are being sought in connection to the murder.
In addition, the defendant is charged with Conspiracy to Assault a Federal Officer; Use and Carrying a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence; Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Re-Entry After Deportation. A conviction for second-degree murder carries a maximum of life in prison. In determining an actual sentence, the assigned United States District Court Judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jesse Figueroa and Liza Granoff, District of Arizona, Tucson.
CASE NUMBER: CR-11-0150-TUC-DCB-JCG
RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-083(Osorio-Arellanes)
Read the Indictment posted by KGUN Channel 9 Manuel Osorio-Arellanes Indictment
From the Arizona Daily Star May 7, 2011:
Man charged with murder in Terry case
Suspects in the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry were deported from the United States three times in the year before the Dec. 14 shooting, says an indictment unsealed Friday.
Defendants were deported in February, June and October 2010, the indictment shows.
From the Nogales International:
A Mexican man detained in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry near Rio Rico has been charged with Terry’s murder.
A federal judge on Friday unsealed a 14-count indictment that includes second-degree murder charges against Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, 34, of El Fuerte, Mexico, that stem from the Dec. 14, 2010 killing. He and unnamed co-defendants who remain fugitives – including the alleged triggerman who fired the fatal shot – also face weapons and conspiracy charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“Today’s indictment is an important step in this case, but it is only a first step to serving justice on behalf of Agent Brian Terry, his family, and the other agents who were with Terry and their families,” U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said in the statement. “This is an active ongoing investigation that is making more and more progress every day.”
Now….what about the AK 47s found at the scene of Agent Terry’s muder?
From CBS News….
By Sharyl Attkisson
….”Today’s incitement is an important step, but it is only a first step to serving justice on behalf of Agent Brian Terry,” U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said in a statement.
U.S. Attorney Burke, who announced today’s indictment, was also the U.S. Attorney on a major ATF alleged gunwalking operation in Phoenix known as “Fast and Furious”.
Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico
Terry’s death is at the center of the so-called “gunwalker” controversy at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Insiders say ATF used a controversial intelligence-gathering strategy called lettings guns “walk,” and allowed thousands of assault weapons to hit the streets to see where they’d end up.
As CBS News has reported, two AK-47 variant assault rifles that ATF allegedly let “walk” were found at the murder scene of Agent Terry on Dec. 14. According to the indictment unsealed today, Osorio-Arellanes was part of an “armed group of illegal aliens that engaged in a firefight with Agent Terry and other border patrol agents…One of the group shot Agent Terry who died of the wound.” Osorio-Arellanes was also wounded in the exchange and has been in federal custody on felony immigration charges.
From the Arizona Republic:
The Arizona Republic
Three border-banditry suspects have been indicted in the murder of a U.S. agent who was shot during a late-night firefight near Rio Rico five months ago.
Manuel Osorio-Arellanes of El Fuerte, in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, and two unidentified co-defendants face 14 counts for second-degree murder, conspiracy and other offenses in connection with a Dec. 15 gunbattle that took the life of Agent Brian Terry, 40.
The shootout began when Border Patrol agents confronted a “rip crew,” criminals who prey on smugglers and undocumented immigrants entering the United States. Terry was a member of the agency’s elite BORTAC unit, a tactical squad assigned to combat violent robberies in the area.
Osorio-Arellanes, wounded during the shootout, was the only suspect captured. The names of two other defendants are sealed because they have not been apprehended.
“Today’s indictment is an important step in this case,” U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke said. “But it is only a first step to serving justice on behalf of Agent Terry and his family. . . . This is an active, ongoing investigation that is making more and more progress every day.”
Three other men rounded up after the shootout were cleared in Terry’s death and pleaded guilty to illegal entry into the U.S. Their sentences were limited to time served behind bars and an order of deportation.
Terry’s death was among several events that spawned increased criticism of border security during the past year. The killing also served as catalyst for controversy over the federal government’s efforts to combat gun-smuggling into Mexico.
For five years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has conducted an enforcement campaign to stop the flow of U.S. firearms to Mexican drug cartels.
After Terry was shot, two AK-47 rifles found at the scene were traced to purchases from an Arizona gun store that was being monitored by ATF in an investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.
Several dozen so-called straw buyers have been indicted in that case, accused of buying firearms from Arizona dealers and shipping them to narcotics cartels in Mexico.
As part of that investigation, federal whistle-blowers allege that the Department of Justice allowed hundreds of guns to be “walked south” in the hope of tracking them to Mexican kingpins.
ATF and Justice Department officials acknowledge that some weapons from Operation Fast and Furious crossed the border.
However, they say that took place either before suspects were placed under surveillance or after suspects managed to evade surveillance.
They insist that investigators never purposely allowed firearms to reach the drug syndicates.
The controversy has prompted congressional inquiries by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who point to the Terry shooting as an example of how guns from Operation Fast and Furious are being used against U.S. law enforcement.
Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, confronted Attorney General Eric Holder at a hearing last week, saying, “The Justice Department is basically guilty of allowing weapons to kill Americans and Mexicans.”
Holder answered that placing blame for Terry’s death on the Justice Department was “offensive.”
Meanwhile, if Ososrio-Arellanes goes to trial, prosecutors will have to sort out confusing nighttime events in a remote canyon northwest of Nogales. Osorio-Arellanes told investigators he was merely an illegal immigrant who got caught in the gunfight.
Robbie Sherwood, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, said the defendant was arraigned Friday at the U.S. District Court in Tucson, where he pleaded not guilty through his attorney. The trial is tentatively set for June 17.
Burke said Terry, a former Marine, “made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of the United States. His family deserves to see justice served, and everybody involved in this investigation is deeply committed to making that happen.”
From Fox News Blog….
by Mike Levine | May 06, 2011
Weapons recovered near Terry’s body have been linked to an investigative program run by Justice Department officials aimed at Mexican cartels and their gun-traffickers. The investigation in Arizona was dubbed “Operation Fast and Furious,” and it was part of a broader effort called “Project Gunrunner,” launched in 2009 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The plan was to follow suspected straw buyers to see if they would illegally traffic guns and, ultimately, lead investigators to the heads of the enterprise. But hundreds of high-powered rifles and other guns ended up in Mexico, and self-described whistleblowers now accuse ATF of letting the guns “walk” to Mexico even after safety concerns were raised.
Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered his department’s internal watchdog to investigate whether guns were knowingly allowed to “walk” to Mexico — and whether such guns may have had a role in Terry’s death. Some Republicans on Capitol Hill, though, say they’re already convinced the program played a part.
“Federal authorities facilitated the purchase of assault weapons for drug cartels and chose not to interdict them before being transported to Mexico,” the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Wednesday, a day after Holder appeared before his committee. “[T]the reckless decisions made in Operation Fast and Furious … have created a serious public safety hazard.”
Issa has been one of the Justice Department’s most vocal critics on the issue, using his congressional subpoena power to demand information from the department. Isse even sent a team of investigators to Arizona last week.
View from Baja Arizona posts on the ATF scandal: